Four years after financial education became compulsory in English secondary schools, teachers say outside experts are better placed to deliver the subject, according to an independent report.

Evaluators Substance found 73% of teachers thought dedicated full time trainers were better able to deliver money lessons than other teachers and 70% thought they were more effective than volunteers. After expert-led sessions 11-16 year olds were found to be 22% more capable of managing money and understanding personal and public finance than control groups.

An 11 month study analysed data from 2,287 pupils and 231 teachers at 86 schools participating in MyBnk programmes and 4,797 pupils in control groups. The report is part of the £11.9m ‘What Works Fund’ managed by the Money Advice Service (MAS), which is now part of the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS), testing the effectiveness of interventions across the UK.

Debate

MyBnk - Financial Education - Secondary MAS Report YouTubeThere have been questions over effectiveness of financial education since pupils were obliged to learn aspects of public finance in Citizenship lessons and financial mathematics in 2014. The subject is not tested or accounted for by Ofsted nor is it mandatory for primary schools or 16-18 year olds.

88% of teachers don’t have the training or specific qualifications needed to teach financial education and half of schools or colleges are only delivering financial education once or twice a term or year, according to MAS. Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority has warned of a “pronounced” build-up of debt among young people. The UK household saving ratio also hit a record low of 1.7% of GDP last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

MyBnk can deliver everything mandated on the national curriculum in just a few 100-minute sessions by a single education officer costing around £25 per student.

Young people after MyBnk sessions:

Source: MyBnk, Substance, Ipsos Mori. 2017/18.

Substance found that after MyBnk sessions, pupils in Years 7-11 were able to understand the consequences of financial decisions, the role of money in society and concepts for their future.

Trained and tested MyBnk staff use materials co-created with young people. Sessions include videos, games and role play that mine youth culture and cover topics such as tax, government spending, and credit, debt, banking, pensions and lifestyle choices.

“Maybe having a stranger come in that we don’t really know might be more engaging for us. The teachers don’t tend to tell us personal experiences and things that they’ve gone through, whereas MyBnk told us the ups and downs. It’s different.” Girl, Year 9, KS3, Hertfordshire & Essex High School.

“MyBnk had a very different relationship to them than a teacher would have, which I think is a good thing. They can talk about things freely whereas, teachers, you have to be guarded. Whereas, somebody who’s had this coming in gives a different dynamic for the pupils.” Teacher, KS3, St Michaels Catholic College.

“Teachers need our support. They are either too busy or untrained to cover these subjects in depth and whilst a volunteer’s real world experience is valuable it’s no substitute for trained experts. A single MyBnk trainer can deliver everything mandated on the national curriculum in just a few 100 minute sessions for £25 per student. By using experts with materials co-created with young people, we can make money real, relevant and engaging.” Guy Rigden, CEO, MyBnk.

“Our analysis suggests financial education delivered by schools does not have a significant impact.” Dr. Kath Edgar, Senior Researcher, Substance.

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